Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Football playing felons--does this make sense?

Two high schools students, aged 17 and 18, plead guilty to felony home invasion. Under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, if they qualify, they are allowed to leave jail to go to school. They can do their time at nights and on the weekend. Their high school coach was allowed to decide if they could play in the Friday night football game. He let them play.

For all players who have not been allowed to play because of poor grades or conduct, and for all parents who have ever had to painfully enforce a simple grounding, does this make any sense? Even if there is great remorse, even if it is an important game, even if it is allowed under this Act, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to the two young men to be denied participation in the game?

Is this in their best interest?

Healthy discipline doesn’t usually take the easy route. It can be uncomfortable and difficult. No one is doing these young men any favor by allowing them to play in the game. The adults in their life, that could have made a positive difference, have let them down by allowing them to play.

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